Alexander Calder

Calder Alexander 01

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and painter born in 1898 in Lawnton, Pennsylvania. In 1919, he graduated in engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, and from 1923 to 1925, he attended the Art Students League, New York. He lived and worked mainly in the United States and France. He died in 1976 in New York.

Calder is one of the most captivating artists of the 20th century. Best known for his innovative, kinetic, draught-automated sculptures, or "mobiles", and his huge, abstract, whimsical and vividly colored sculptures, or "stabiles", Calder was a great artist with an inexorable inventiveness. Guided by a unique style that defied all attempts at labeling, his diverse practice included painting, gouache, etching, miniatures (including his famous Calder Circus), children's book illustrations, theater set design, jewelry design and more. His distinct abstract language, brimming with energy and vitality, is based on the instinctive use of pure color, gesture and line, ranging from fine biomorphic forms to geometrical shapes, with a palpable sense of movement that mirrors his sculptural creations. Particularly appreciated for their immediacy and shimmering color, line and form, gouaches are an integral part of Calder's work, both reflecting and stimulating the sculptural practice for which he is universally recognized.

"Just as we can compose colors or shapes, we can compose movements."
-Alexander Calder

"The basis of everything I do is the universe."
-Alexander Calder

Calder's public commissions are exhibited in cities around the world, and his work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1998, then on tour at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California); Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (1998-1999); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (2000); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000); Iwaki City Art Museum, Japan (2000, then on tour at the Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art, Japan; the Museum of Art, Japan; the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Japan; and finally the Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan); the Storm King Art Center, New York (2001-03); the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2003, then on tour at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, until 2004); the Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland (2004, then on tour at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D. C., until 2005); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California (2013); Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2014); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2014); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); and Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis (2015).


Artworks of Alexander Calder